Tag Archives: Allie

Inspired by Allie…Everyone Needs a Little White House

When I was a little girl, I had this little white playhouse. It was a replica of the actual house we lived in at the time, just a much smaller version. My absolute favorite thing to do in there was to take my dolls and play “house.” Some of my favorite memories were through that white door where my imagination went wild. My dolls and I would “fly” in our cars to Subway (seriously, that was my favorite place to eat as a kid), paint our nails and have tea parties with cookies. My little house was so many things to me: but mostly it was a place where I felt safe and I could really be myself. I was in a totally different world when I was in there. I didn’t care what people thought of me and I told Peach, my doll, all about my life.

But, like they all say, I grew up in the blink of an eye and I could no longer fit inside my little white house… so we had to get rid of it.

This past year I wanted to try to create a “little white house” for big kids. I thought of a few ideas – forts, tents, tree houses, etc., and finally decided to make a cozy hideout deep in the woods.

As I started to dig out a nice patch to put a bench, that imagination I had as a little girl jumped out my back pocket. I added seat cushions, a table, lanterns, a burn pit, a rug, curtains and some frames… and all of it I found at the Coralville Stuff Etc.  It was such a fun process too. Each day I added something new. Nothing matches in my hideout either – I picked out totally random items. The rug, seat cushions and curtains were a grand total of $4.46.

Even though I’m a “big girl” now, I can have a quiet little place, tucked deep in the woods where I can be “me.”  Usually, I grab my coffee and a good book and take a seat. Other times I strike up a conversation with myself with the light from the lanterns in the trees above me.  So thank you Stuff Etc, for helping me build my new “little white house”.  It’s allowed me to regain my childhood imagination, enable me to dream big and accomplish much. It may not be small, or white, or even have a roof, but it does the same thing for me as my little white house did…. help me paint a big, beautiful picture of my life.


Allie’s Advice on Taste Buds

My family makes fun of me on a regular basis for one thing: I’m a picky eater. Okay, “picky” is an understatement. Bring on the cookies (without milk), spaghetti (no meatballs), salad (no dressing), pizza (only if it’s cooked on a stone), peas (but absolutely no corn), bread (only if it’s toasted) and watermelon (this is the only food I’ll eat anytime). Rarely will I try new things. My taste buds are so sporadic that I may like one thing one day but the next day I won’t even look at it! Really, my diet consists of only watermelon in the summer. All other food is fair game for me to dislike. My mom usually has to make me a separate meal from what she makes for the entire family because I will otherwise starve! You’re probably sitting there thinking this girl is RIDICULOUS…and I am! I am worse than most 2 year olds!

So although my taste buds for food are almost worthless and annoying, I’m not picky in all areas of life. I’ve got the best taste buds for clothes. I’m hardly picky about my style and I’m willing to taste any new outfit. This is why I love Stuff Etc because I can try ANY style; they have them all. The other day I was able to get three differently styled outfits all for under twenty bucks. First off, I got a dress for the fourth of July. Now that really is a one-of-a-kind style since I can only wear it on one day of the year! But for $5.99 I can do that! Next up is a poppin’ blue tank. People will see me coming from miles around. It’s cute, comfy and was only $3.99. I can throw it with leggings and a pair of heels for a night out. Lastly is a pair of grey Old Navy shorts. (Another $3.99 steal). They can be thrown with either a T-shirt or a cute top, depending on which style your feeling. Both the Coralville and Iowa City stores have a large quantity of shorts in all sorts of colors, styles, lengths and sizes.

So although I won’t eat hardly anything, I will wear almost anything! The stores are jam-packed with so much color and variety and my closet is slowly starting to resemble them. I’ve got only tongue taste bud for watermelon but hundreds of clothing taste buds. The variety in each of the stores helps me explore all sorts of possibilities. So although I can’t get my guilty pleasure from food, new clothes will just have to suffice. If the taste is right, the price is always right at Stuff Etc. Time for some lunch. (Watermelon, that is.)

Submitted by guest blogger, Alissa Gilbaugh, incoming Senior at Iowa City West High

Inspired by Allie… Be More Bold

This year I decided to challenge myself to do something new: to be more bold. So of course, since I’m a girl, I started in the clothes department. I’m talking bold colors, bold prints and especially bold accessories. Now, for some clarification, you will not see me walking around town with green nails, purple shorts, pink leggings, a shirt decorated in unicorns with a floatie around my waist. That indeed would be bold, but not quite what I’m going for. Rather, I’m thinking fun printed shirts, brightly colored shorts and cute hats or other accessories like earrings, necklaces, etc. It seems to me these days that color is everything. With my new “be bold” splurge, I went to the Stuff Etc in Coralville with my eyes craving things that stood out. Within the first 5 minutes I found a pair of baby blue shorts…they even had the original tags still attached! Since I only paid $5.99 for these sweet shorts, I assured myself I must find a shirt to go with it. In my heart of hearts I knew the nice summer weather was soon to arrive so I went looking for a light tank top. I topped these shorts off with a beaming, bright orange shirt that was $4.99. Now if this shirt isn’t bold, I do not know what is.

Wrapped up in the word ‘bold’ is all sorts of excitement: it means vivid, courageous, daring. So, with my new bold outfit on, I’m going out on an adventure, not sure what is awaiting me. Dr. Seuss says, “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good!” No one likes boring, do they? Don’t let your outfit be plain; throw some color into it! The real pickle comes when you want a radical outfit, but you know that if you buy it you will not be able to wear it out because you’ve spent all your money on the outfit and have none leftover to go out on the town. This is why Stuff Etc is so perfect for me:  I can get several cute outfits AND be able to wear them out with money left over.

This summer I encourage you to try something new, do things you normally would not and wear things that make your outfit noticeable and exciting. Decorate your life just how you like it. Be edgy, not sketchy. Colorful, not mix matched. And be bold, not boring. Now if you’ll excuse me…I need to go put together some more outfits!

Submitted by guest blogger, Alissa Gilbaugh, incoming Senior at Iowa City West High